Looking at the top-performing digital assets for an extremely successful quarter
The momentum that we saw build towards the end of 2020 resulted in a melt-up that we saw in Cryptocurrencies in Q1 2021. Bitcoin, Ethereuem, cumulative market cap, total value locked (TVL) in DeFi assets all broke new records. BTC has already seen three all-time highs (ATH), Ethereum charted five ATHs so far, the total market cap of cryptocurrencies has now topped $2 trillion & TVL for DeFi assets has already crossed $50 billion.
If you think these are big price moves then there have been some other gains which dwarf even these numbers. According to Messari Research, Binance Coin (BNB) was the clear outperformer among the top ten performing digital assets by market cap (chart above, Figure 1) — returning a whopping 709%. BNB owes this to Binance Smart Chain, which has quickly become the most used smart contract platform next to Ethereum.
Rising transaction fees on the latter and accelerated volumes and earnings fueled by white-hot crypto markets enabled BNB to reach new ATHs. Cardano network upgrades proved a massive hit among investors earlier in the year, as its native token ADA returned 557% for the quarter. Another smart contract competitor for Ethereuem, Polkadot (DOT) scored 300% gains.
Most surprising in the list was Ripple (XRP), returning 169% quarterly gains — a huge overachiever, considering it was crushed in late 2020 by an SEC lawsuit. 9 out of the top 10 coins returned triple-digit returns. Bitcoin and Litecoin were the laggards of the group with a cumulative quarterly performance of 103% and 58% respectively, with the latter being the only returning double-digit return.
Defi boom which built momentum during 2020 gathered pace in the first quarter. Price gains in DeFi were even bigger than mainstream cryptos. PancakeSwap and Terra were the two clear winners in the Defi space, posting four-digit gains (Figure 2).
PancakeSwap, an automated market maker (AMM) on Binance Smart Chain, saw a massive influx of trading volume during February and March as Binance Smart Chain emerged as a viable option while Ethereum fees were ballooning. CAKE ended the quarter with a 3,000% return making it the top-performing asset in the DeFi sector.
Galaxy digital’s announcement of $25 million investment in Terra’s creator, Terraform Labs & the passage of a governance proposal making the minting Terra’s UST stable coin more efficient contributed towards tremendous growth during the quarter for LUNA — native token of the Terra blockchain.
Decentralized exchanges such as THORChain, Uniswap, and SushiSwap were also among the top-performing assets, while Compound and Synthetix were the laggards in this category with quarterly gains of 147% and 168% respectively.
Originally Published on Medium